The Haunted Highlands
Upon the bloody northern marches of a crumbling far-flung realm lies a freehold on the frontier, a stubborn beacon of light within the darkness. Most of that realm, the Duchy of Karbosk, is still haunted by the aftermath of a massive Orcish invasion led by Yorgach the Terrible. That land is now mostly ruined and populated by roving bands of marauders. Small pockets of civilization still exist here or there, but they are few in number and pressed upon by wide tracts of dangerous wilderness.
In one such point of light, the flotsam of the world gathers: miscreants, mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, adventures. Dirty Bowbe’s Roadhouse they call it, and it is as rough and safe a sanctuary and any will find in those dark and bloody grounds!
Once, long ago, a Kingdom thrived here and the wealth of its coffers flowed across the lands as honey from a jar. From the deep blue waters of Lake Veyona to the broken crags that overlook the Northern Steppes, the King ruled a realm, both prosperous and contented.
But all things must end. And the ravages of war and plague overwhelmed the King and his people and lands have come to ruin. And the days of the Highland Kingdom are long past so that now nothing but memories remain . . . memories and their shadows.
Or so such tales are spun by the hearth fire at Dirty Bowbe’s Roadhouse to any and all who pass through, for that legendary tavern lies at the center of the world.
To the northeast of the Roadhouse lie the monster-infested Ruins of Bortensk and too, the hazardous wastes known as Witch Moor. Beyond that, the clan-holds of the Ugashtan Tribes and further still lay the broken crags of the Mythnoc Cairns, where the proud barbarian people once buried their cherished dead.
More, there are the ancient trees of the Grove of the Green Man, where the druids who worship the old ways still rule, and the Crater of the Umeshti, wherein lie the relics of an ancient civilization only briefly mentioned in even the oldest of Elven tomes. Of elves, very few remain, their people having long ago abandoned their magnificent citadels deep within the Feywood, to the distant northeast.
Of citadels, the Duchy of Karbosk now marshals the sad remnants of its army within the western reaches of Dro Mandras, capital of that realm, where they wage a desperate campaign to reclaim that city’s eastern holds. Beyond that, to the east, lies the utter devastation that Yorgach’s Horde has suffered upon the Highland Kingdom.
Here is a land ripe with the forgotten and lost treasures of a realm long passed.
These are the Haunted Highlands!
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